Wednesday, September 29, 2010 by Lee Mannering

PMA responds to Dr. Oz segment on produce pesticide residues

Yesterday, PMA co-signed this letter to syndicated television host Dr. Mehmet Oz to correct what we considered to be especially egregious misinformation about pesticide residues on fresh produce in a Dr. Oz Show segment that aired last Friday. The letter was organized by our colleagues at the Alliance for Food and Farming and co-signed by the United Fresh Produce Association and Western Growers.

It’s very frustrating that Dirty Dozen-type reports such as this one continue to erode consumer confidence in – and sales of – the foods that our industry works so hard to grow and sell. According to Hartman Group research funded by PMA, 29 percent of consumers reported in 2010 that they don’t buy more produce because of pesticide concerns, which is up from 18 percent in 2008.

A few months ago here on Field to Fork, we talked about PMA’s support for a new campaign from the Alliance for Food and Farming that is designed to help our industry counter these erroneous claims, and set the record straight about the safety of fresh produce. This effort is part of our ongoing mission to identify and respond to emerging issues and effectively avoid or minimize their impact on our members’ businesses. We’ve been integrally involved in the development of this campaign from inception, including financially assisting with the campaign’s consumer Web site.

We’ll also be highlighting this campaign during a workshop at Fresh Summit in October. To learn more about the Fresh Summit education program, visit the event Web site and look at the schedule. If you’re planning to come to Orlando, the last day to register in advance is October 1.

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